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No Birthers Here

Update: I just heard someone on CNN accuse the PUMAs of starting the Birther nonsense. I don’t know where it started but it didn’t originate here. We were not the only PUMA site though and some of the others definitely went over to the Tea Party where birtherism was rampant. But not all PUMAs are the same. We were liberal Democrats in Exile who were not interested in the Tea Party or some ambiguous form of radical conservatism Fox News promotes


Back in 2008 when I started this blog, I invited many people to write posts. I didn’t have too many rules. I’m not an editor. But here were my guidelines: nothing racist, no rumors or innuendos that can’t be proven, avoid personal attacks. For instance, no blogs about how many vacations someone takes, stay away from attacks on physical appearance, children of the candidates, etc. Specifically, I didn’t want to demonize anyone.

We had a lot of traffic here in 2008 and many other blogs linked to us. Birthers did occasionally show up here.

We didn’t tolerate it. Ever.

I don’t know where they came from. Maybe it was NoQuarter, that’s my vague recollection. But wherever it was, we asked them to make like a neutrino and pass on thru. We weren’t interested.

There were plenty of good reasons to oppose Obama back then. His scorched earth tactics, inexperience and country club Republican appeal  made us think he was the candidate most likely to continue the Bush years without dragging us into Depression, but just barely. Our predictions of his performance turned out to be pretty accurate.

But we had absolutely no doubt that he was born in Hawaii and met the constitutional requirements to run for president. We didn’t think he earned the nomination but he was legitimately elected president. That we never doubted.

We are not aware of Hillary Clinton’s campaign ever promoting birtherism and the limited interactions we had with her campaign were above reproach. We have no reason to believe she would ever start such a rumor.

Check our archive. Birtherism didn’t start here and we didn’t feed it.

As far as we know, it was a Trump production from the beginning.


47 Responses

  1. What Trump is doing now would make Hitler and Goebbels very gratified. He is not only trying to wave away eight years of his virulent birtherism, which he stoked and helped flourish, he is trying to convince the nation that it was Hillary who started it. This is an utter lie. Never in her life did Hillary utter one word of this. But the truth certainly didn’t matter to the Nazis, who convinced their nation that the Jews lost WWI, that the Jews were evil rats who lived in sewers; that the concentration camps were merely helpful work camps. If you live by the BIg Lie, you say anything, and then trust to your propagandists to disseminate it, and convince a pliable populace that you are telling the truth.

    This will be the biggest test yet for the media, which has failed all of the other ones. Trump said that Obama and Hillary founded ISIS. He said that Hillary was responsible for the Fliint poisoned water. He said that the Clinton Foundation was a vast criminal enterprise, and that she should be in jail. He said that she used the State Department as a money-making scheme. He said that his Foundation’s $25,000 donation to the Florida AG was because he had admired her work for a long time. The media essentially bought all of these lies. So if he says that Hillary started the birtherism slander, and he is the noble person who put it to rest eight years later, will the media give credence to that as well? Or will they do their usual cowardly thing of making it a “He said/she said; make up your own mind” thing, like with Kerry and the swiftboaters? “Hitler says, ‘I didn’t kill any Jewish people; Jewish people say that he did. Who is right on this?”

    Trump is worse than a pathologial liar. He is a fascist demagogue psychopath. He has said that the election is fixed–if he loses. He says that Blacks will vote five times. He says that the debates are rigged against him. That the Fed is rigging interest rates to help Obama. That the Intelligence people who briefed him clearly told him that they were very unhappy with his handling of world affairs. The effect is to call into question every single one of our institutions and leaders, in a kind of all-or-nothing worldview. You either vote for Trump, who will save America, or you are doomed. He’s betting that he can scare and delude enough people to get elected. If he does, he wil actually be the one to destroy the coutnry; the ultimate in his ongoing projections. And if he does, it will be the media which is primarilyresponsible, along with a dumbed-down and gullible electorate. A candidate who brazenly and mendaciously accuses his opponent of the very thing he has done for eight years; and who is confident that he can get away with it, or at least, with the help of the media, cast enough doubt on it that he can gain votes and thus get elected, is legitimately comparable to Hitler and Goebbels and the rest of the Nazi leaders. And if someone thinks that is hyperbole, always remember that Hitler was pretty much laughed at and viewed as an entertaining and harmless person at his outset.

  2. Just to add briefly; Trump and his campaign is confident, with good reason, that nothing he does or says can possibly lose him any of his support base of about 40%. So he thinks that he has a “free roll,” where he can’t lose votes, but could gain them. If he can convince some people that he deserves credit for dropping his birther claims four months from the end of Obama’s presidency, that’s good for him. If he convinces, or at least starts some people thinking, that Hillary is the one to blame, that’s even more votes, maybe the election. Actually, it occurred to me that all fascists start with a baseline of absolute loyalists, and thus only need to coinvince some of the gullible people to go along, for them to gain power. So in this dispiriting analysis, even media blowback on this, does not hurt Trump. Media wishy-washiness on it, helps him greatly. The ONLY reason Trump is retracting, is to gain votes.

  3. If I may don my chapeau de Reynolds Wrap and speculate:

    The members of the Global 1% own the U. S. Government; they have ways of making the elections go as they wish. (cough*Diebold*cough)

    The Global 1% wants to control the labor and natural resources of the whole planet.

    Since they own the U. S. and its allies, the chief obstacles to that goal are the continuing independence of Russia and China.

    Since the foreign policy advanced by Putin’s Puppet would serve Russia, it would gut the hopes of the G1%. This means they will not want the Orange Grifter.

    The only reason I can think of that the G1% might want the Orange Grifter is if they know he will double-cross Putin the way Hitler double-crossed Stalin in 1941–but vif Trump would dare to cheat Putin, he might dare to cheat the G1%, too; how can they trust him?

    I would expect the G1% to play it safe and choose Hillary–and what they say goes, unless you want to postulate a massive alt-right mutiny in the ranks of the armed forces and the police.

    Ascended Madoka grant it be so.

    • *sigh* I meant to close the italics after the first italicized word. 😛

      I can haz edit feechur, plz?

    • I think the global 1% got what they wanted when Obama was elected. I suspect they don’t trust Hillary because she’s still more rehab than enabler.
      But the American public was prepped for Trump. Fox News has been talking about political correctness and that there’s no law against racism for half a decade. They’ve removed the shame aspect. Hillary is trying to reintroduce it with her comments about the deplorables. So, clearly, any republican politician who was willing to go there was going to capture all those voters. It just happened to be Trump. That turns out to be fantastically successful for trump. Not sure any other Republican could have pulled that off. It takes a reality tv celebrity who has no shame.
      The question we have to ask is why Rupert Murdoch wants someone like that in the White House. Maybe not trump specifically because he’s an idiot and is a loose cannon. But Pence? Pence or Newt Gingrich or Chris Christie are seriously creepy. We know that Newt is an authoritarian leader. He really doesn’t have a conscious. Pence is a biblical theocratic authoritarian leader. Christie is a bullying authoritarian leader. Don’t be surprised if they show up on Trump’s cabinet if he’s elected. That’s a baaaaaaad combination. There’s not a Jamie Lannister in the bunch.
      So, trump is no use to whoever Rupert is working for if he can’t be controlled. I think Trump is the false front. It’s the unholy trinity behind him who are the real story.

      • If you’re correct, then the ultimate patsy here may be Trump. Pence may be the right-wing elite’s real choice; get Trump and Pence elected, then Trump has “an unfortunate accident”…

        • As long as they don’t give him too much responsibility he might be less dangerous. But i suspect there are things that only the President has access to or the super secret password for.

        • Or maybe I just read too much Joe Cannon… 😛

        • Trump has already said out loud that he will have advisers who will do the governing. Will Paul Ryan still be speaker? He would be 3rd in line.

          • Good question. The house republicans could rally around Ryan and oppose trump on a lot of stuff. Or trump could take him out. In which case, we should all update our passports.

          • Why would any sane country want Americans if that happened?

        • Remember, with Bush the behind the scenes commander in Chief was Cheney .

          • And we know what Colin Powell thinks of the Cheneys.

          • This reminds me of something that came out last year… very dim memory of it… an article about Cheney still having influence on the election this go around? Does anyone remember that? RD? I do remember trying to figure that out, since how could Cheney be directing Trump? But, of course, he wouldn’t need to do that, because Trump won’t be governing.

          • and Pence wants to be like Cheney! Holy shit!

  4. I try to reassure myself that this is not Germany in 1932. We have not suffered defeat and subjugation, and economic disaster.

    Then I remember that Italy and Japan were Allied powers in WW1, but belonging to the winning side did not prevent them from going Fascist; Italy went Fascist before the Great Depression happened. 😦

    • OTOH, this is not the same country it was in 2000 or 2004.

      The demographics do not favor the Orange Grifter. The Paleface Booboisie who form his base do not form a majority of the adult citizenry any longer. 🙂

      • True, IBW. I keep telling myself that. However, I keep going back to the CIA’s warning about the voting machines being hacked by Russia this year. “Democracy isn’t in the voting, it’s in the counting.”

        I know this country has a lot of racist xenophobes in it, and people who, as Hillary (why is everyone calling the woman by her first name and the man by his last?) said, are afraid… but I just find it very hard to believe that there are enough of them to lead to the poll results we are seeing right now.

        As I wrote before, I drove from CA to WY this summer, twice, and never saw one DT sign or bumper sticker or heard one person say anything positive about him anywhere. I heard people say positive things about HC in even extremely conservative parts of this country. The way the media goes on (and the polls imply) he has almost HALF of the electorate pulling for him. I just don’t see it.

        • I don’t know why we can’t call Obama by his first name. Apparently it’s racist. Go figure. That kind of reaction cheapens real racism when it happens. But there’s no getting around it now. I think our perceptions of her popularity depends on who our friends are. Most of my work friends are quiet Hillary supporters. The volunteers I work with are enthusiastic African Americans. The working-middle class people I canvass are very very few Trump supporters and more undecideds than there should be. We can’t relax this year. The media was Goreing Hillary pretty good up until recently. But trump is not bush. Trump has never been a politician and he crass, tacky and an open bigot. Strange that they are fluffing him as much as they have. They clearly know what they’re doing. One thing for sure is the media will bear some responsibility if Trump’s dangerous remarks about the 2nd amendment leads to her getting hurt.

          • What I don’t understand, and have never understood, why the working class (not so much middle class) but the truly lower class, would even think that someone like Trump, would
            stoop to pick them up and help them. This man has never done anything for ANYBODY, except himself. He knows nothing about politics, he’s a liar whenever he opens his mouth and he steals from the very people who are supporting him! I just don’t get it!

          • I’m not surprised. Working class voters continually get stiffed by the politicians they elect. It’s been especially bad since 2000 because a lot of our wealth has gone to carry out wars and bailout the bankers.
            And what did the working class get in return? Republicans opposing anything meaningful, they get obamacare that’s not affordable and a lot like junk insurance. Don’t talk about pre-existing conditions to a guy who barely makes $15/hour, if that, and has to shell out thousands of dollars in deductibles. There are no pensions and no one at the lower end can really afford a 401k. Forget about college. It’s bleak.
            I think they were expecting Obama to do something. And we gave him 2 years of senate and house majorities and something like a mandate. And what happened? Nothing. Well, nothing for THEM. Obama couldn’t even bring himself to jail a banker.
            No matter who they vote for, they get screwed. They think that politicians are the problem. But it’s ideology that is the problem and that’s much harder to target than a candidate. Trump is speaking to them because he’s threatening to tear the whole house down. He’s empowering them. Who doesn’t like power?
            But these things rarely go well. For some, the orgasm will wear off pretty quickly. For others, power is much more heady and will only be less attractive when something more powerful comes along.
            I worry about the latter. They’re crazy.

        • I can’t speak for anyone else, but the main reason I sometimes refer to Mrs. Clinton by her first name is to distinguish her from her husband.

          However, when I call her by her first name, I try to refer to Trump by one of his nicknames: “The Donald”, or “Orange Julius Caesar”, or “The Orange Grifter”, or lately, just “The Grifter”. :mrgreen:

          • Yeah, funny how that is. We can call Trump The Donald. We called Bush “Shrub” and “chimp”. Nixon was “Tricky Dick”. Reagan was the Gipper.
            But OMG, if you refer to Barack Obama by Barry {{GASP}} you are a racist BLASPHEMER!!
            It’s really stupid and self-righteous for lefties to turn themselves into a pretzel over this and act like they are champions of the African American population. Jumping all over your allies for a name while turning a blind eye to real racism is hypocritical and definitely taking the easy way out.
            We could be equally demanding and insist that everyone call Hillary Madame Secretary. Is that going to stop one Trump jerk from being an asshole? Will it prevent one media person from covering her like she’s a mega bitch who no one can trust who is competing for a man’s job when she’s no longer fuckable? No. It will not.
            Names CAN hurt you. But only if there’s a complete societal infrastructure to support them.
            In the last 8 years, no one has investigated Obama for anything. He hasn’t been dragged in front of congress to self-criticize any actions he might have taken before of after he was in office. His terms were relatively peaceful.
            All that happened to him is congress blocked him on everything. But they’re going to do that to any Democrat who takes office. It has nothing to do with him being black. The fact that many Republicans are bigots is significant but their attitudes towards African Americans wouldn’t have made a jot of difference. Obama could have been as white as Anderson Cooper. If he had a D by his name, the Republicsns would have been agin’ him.
            So, I really hope the left gets off its superficial soapbox after Obama leaves and actually does something about real racism. The idea that they will be forgotten after Obama leaves has made the African American community fearful and anxious. I think Hillary will be better than they think.

  5. Eek! Where did my comment to IBW go?

  6. Joe Cannon mentioned you in his blog today. He makes it clear that birtherism did NOT start (nor was it perpetuated) here at the Confluence.


  7. As I said on Cannonfire, I’ll say here: I was sitting on the thread at 10 pm that fateful night when the PUMA name was coined (of course, my demented memory can’t be completely trusted) and the long horror which was 08 primary campaign was relived on this site. I was here everyday for months. What I remember about birtherism is that it was smacked down here and on other sites as silliness that distracted from the real issues of the press fluffing Obama and the DNC stealing the primary from Clinton. No Quarter, after Obama secured the nomination, however, was full bore birtherism, 24/7/365, and at the time Larry Johnson was pitching himself as a PUMA. I don’t recall hearing anything about Obama’s birthing problems until after he got the nomination.

    • There were several raunchy anti-Obama “sites” in 2007. Hard to tell who they were supporting, maybe just against Obama. If there was any hesitancy to show Obama’s birth certificate if might be because Stanley Ann was three months pregnant before she and Barack, Sr. married. I learned this from the “Fresh Air” interview of a the author Sally H. Jacobs, who wrote what appears to be a well-researched book about Obama’s father.

      Seems Trump would have even tackier web pages devoted to skewering him than any other major-party candidate in recent memory.

      I wonder how intentional the cable media is? Whenever I check in (online snips), it seems like a lot of idiots filling time with trivia, and the more nasty, the better to hold eyes and ears to the next prescription drug ad.

  8. Hmmm I thought PUMAS didn’t exist?

    • IMHO, it had its moment but then lost its reason for being after the 2008 election. But some blogs kept the PUMA designation for a lot longer and it took on different meanings for different people. For us, it always meant Party Unity My Ass because we thought it was cynical and outrageous that the Obama campaign could achieve party unity by demanding that 18 million people who voted for his opponent give him their votes without him actually acknowledging their existence or offering to represent what they cared about.
      The candidates were NOT identical in policy. This is a joke. I’ve always theorized that Hillary was rehab and Obama was an enabler and that Wall Street made a deal with him to support him and pay for his campaign and the DNC in exchange for him allowing them to advise him on the financial catastrophe and the stimulus package. Also, he did almost nothing to help homeowners while Hillary had a comprehensive HOLC policy ready to go before she and her supporters were told to stifle. The bankers were DETERMINED not to take a haircut even if that meant screwing millions of homeowners and working people who lost everything in the collapse of the financial markets.
      They got everything they wanted. All they had to do was get Hillary out of the way before the collapse. Someday, history is going to look back on this era and discover that Bush set the dominos up to fall and got us into an unwinnable land war in Asia. But it was Obama that allowed the malefactors of great wealth to decimate labor laws and set in place a healthcare policy that asked nothing in cost controls from doctors and hospitals.

  9. Re RD’s comment on Pres nicknames (Shrub, etc), I have often wondered why (WHY) Al Sharpton never ever calls Hillary anything but “Mrs Clinton.” Never Secretary Clinton, her proper title. I don’t watch his show and never have but he does pop up sometimes on other shows. To me, all those in the public eye who only call her Mrs. Clinton are being somehow passive aggressive in not giving her her proper title.
    Maybe it is just me that notices things like that.

    I also notice the Repub use of “Democrat Party” rather than Democratic Party.
    And right now, I am panicking because the stupid people appear to be about to outnumber the smarter people in this country. Please, please, Hillary, do 3x as well as any man in the debate, instead of the usual 2x as well.

    • I guarantee you that Hillary debates as well or better than any man. I saw it in 2008.
      The problem is if Trump shows up and sticks to the script, the press might call him presidential anyway. The bar is very, very low for him.
      Another problem is she’s so prepared and knowledgeable that she might come off as a Miss Know it All. You’ll know if that’s going to be a problem if Trump’s campaign starts making a big deal about how her use of big words makes it hard for an average voter to connect to her. She comes off as elitist, unlike Trump who talks to them on their level. Or some stupid thing like that.
      But if she just says the hell with it, I’ve gotta be me and I’m going to talk directly to the audience and not reacting to Trump, then I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

      • yes.

        • I have also noticed the use of “Democrat Party” instead of “Democratic Party.” It’s most often intended as an insult by the more rabid Republicans. Its use seems to be spreading as our educational system is spending less time teaching grammar since you don’t use one noun (i.e., Democrat) to modify another noun (Party). I am starting to believe that we should return the favor by calling them the “Republicants” or “Repugnants.” I also like “Rethuglicans.”

          • I like Jerks.
            Or Mob of Rageaholics. That would make their new acronym MOR. So, maybe not.

          • How about using “rageaholic” as an adjective instead of a noun:

            “Mob Of Rageaholic, Obnoxious, Numbskulled Sociopaths” = MORONS. 😈

          • If they use Democrat Party, I call them the Republic Party.

          • ( I see I have been assigned a new “little monster icon” by the programming system.)

            The Republicans referred to ” the Democrat” Party and “my Democrat” colleague and so forth for decades. It worked because the Democrats always let the Republicans get away with it. If the Democrats had referred to ” the Republan” party and “our Republan” friends every time the Republans had referred to “our Democrat friends of the Democrat” party, the Republans might have re-thought their dispronounciation of the name “Democratic” party.

            Democrats could still try that, of course . . . to see if it could still work after all this time. Every time a Republan refers to ” the Democrat” party, the Democrats can reply to “the Republan” party.
            Whenever a Republan says “our Democrat friends”, the Democrat being addressed can say “our Republan friends”. And see if the Republans go back to “Democratic” after a while. If they do, then the Democrats can start saying “Republican” again.

          • ( No I haven’t. The “compose your comment” screen where I log my comment in at has “assigned” my name a new little monster. But the actual comment still shows up with the good old little monster.)

  10. I know she is a top notch debater. I was all the way in ’08. But, as you say, the joker is how Trump reacts and how the media spin him. The sour note in their mouth over being chumps last Friday will probably be forgotten by then and they will be back in their “Hillary bad, Trump good” spin mode. I am a semi-realist/pessimist; expect the worst and be surprised at anything better than that! Here is hoping.

    • Just curious: what are you lefties reading that makes you think the media are pro-Trump? Every time I’ve visited the NYT over the past 6 months, there has been at least 1, sometimes as many as 5 anti-Trump headlines on the front page.

  11. This is interesting. I somehow found an interview of Rachel Maddow by Ezra Klein [http://www.maddowfans.com/?p=6656] and the first 2/3 is about her life up to now but at a few minutes before 1 hour, they begin talking current politics. It is interesting to hear Ezra and Rachel discuss the problem with the Democratic Party today from their views. Best to listen for yourself but one point is that Rachel said that Obama has not viewed himself as the leader of the party and, as a result, she says there won’t be a Dem majority in the House until at least 2022. They also note the problem with so few Dem governors. And that the Republican party may be weird right now but… all we Dems have is the Presidency and that is not all we need to make a difference.
    I think the current politics part is maybe 15 to 20 minutes at most. Now they have moved on to other stuff. it is still going on, and on.

  12. Off-topic: ARRR! Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day! :mrgreen:

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